Afoot In England, By W.H. Hudson

 -   I read a sonnet, and told him I should like to read
them all.  You can have a copy, of - Page 130
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I Read A Sonnet, And Told Him I Should Like To Read Them All.

"You can have a copy, of course," he exclaimed. "Put it in your pocket and keep it." When I

Asked him if he had any right to give one away he laughed and said that if any one had thought the whole parcel worth twopence it would not have been left behind. He was quite right; a cracked dinner - plate or a saucepan with a hole in it or an earthenware teapot with a broken spout would not have been left, but the line was drawn at a book of sonnets by the late squire. Nobody wanted it, and so without more qualms I put it in my pocket, and have it before me now, opened at page 63, on which appears, without a headline, the sonnet I first read, and which I quote: -

How beautiful are birds, of God's sweet air Free denizens; no ugly earthly spot Their boundless happiness doth seem to blot. The swallow, swiftly flying here and there, Can it be true that dreary household care Doth goad her to incessant flight? If not How can it be that she doth cast her lot Now there, now here, pursuing summer everywhere? I sadly fear that shallow, tiny brain Is not exempt from anxious cares and fears, That mingled heritage of joy and pain That for some reason everywhere appears; And yet those birds, how beautiful they are! Sure beauty is to happiness no bar.

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